“According to tests performed at Trent University in Canada, the company’s chicken strips and oven-roasted chicken contained just 43 percent and 54 percent chicken DNA, respectively, consisting otherwise of soy and other filler ingredients.”
Subway denies the charges and has demanded a retraction from CBC Marketplace, yet admits it is “concerned by the alleged findings.” According to Subway, its chicken strips and oven-roasted chicken contain less than 1 percent soy protein.
The filler, it turns out, is a very long list of ingredients, however, a majority of it is soy protein. John Coupland, president of the Institute of Food Technologists, told Time Magazine:4
“Based on the data is right, that is a surprisingly large amount of soy … And it’s astonishingly high for something that you’re supposed to think is a real, whole piece of chicken.”
On average, fast food chicken contains about one-quarter less protein than home-cooked chicken breast, thanks to water infusions and fillers, and up to eight times more sodium.
Moreover, as noted in the program, while you’d never expect chicken to be a source of carbohydrates, fast food chicken such as that from Subway contain surprisingly high amounts of refined starches and sugars.
Soy Protein Linked to Health Problems
Based on these test results, there are many reasons for concern. Not only are you being ripped off, paying for chicken that turns out to be 50 percent soy, which is dirt-cheap in comparison, but you’re also eating something that could be hazardous to your health, even if you’re not outright allergic to soy.
Unlike the Asian culture, where people eat small amounts of whole, fermented non-GMO soybean products, western food processors separate the soybean into two golden commodities — protein and oil. And there is nothing natural or safe about either.
Unfermented soy foods contain anti-nutritional factors such as soyatoxin, phytates, protease inhibitors, oxalates, goitrogens and estrogens — some of which actually interfere with the enzymes you need to digest protein.
While a small amount of these anti-nutrients would not likely cause a problem, the amount of soy many Americans now eat is extremely high.
What’s worse, the vast majority of soy grown in the U.S. is genetically engineered (GE) to be herbicide resistant and contaminated with the well-documented carcinogenic herbicide, Roundup.
Soybeans are also processed by acid washing in aluminum tanks, which can leach aluminum into the final soy product, and may contain unsafe levels of manganese as well.
According to Kaayla Daniel, Ph.D., author of “The Whole Soy Story,” thousands of studies link unfermented soy to a wide range of health problems, including:
- Kidney stones
- Breast Cancer
- Reproductive disorders
- Immune system impairment
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Heart disease
- Cognitive decline (dementia)
- Brain damage
- Digestive problems
- Food allergies
Soy: It’s What’s for Dinner
A recent report20,21 by Mighty Earth highlights the environmental impact of soybeans. More specifically, the report accuses Burger King of buying soy from plantations created by burning down tropical forests.
“To examine the impact of Burger King’s operations, we focused on the ultimate source of much of their meat: the soybeans that feed the livestock that the company uses to make its meals. Soy is an important base ingredient of the world’s meat. Approximately three-quarters of the world’s soy goes to animal feed,” the report notes.
“…Burger King has a lot to hide: The fast food giant has failed to adopt any serious policies to protect native ecosystems in the production of its food. Despite pressure from consumers, it continues to rank dead last among its competitors … when it comes to protecting the environment.
Companies found in Burger King’s supply chain have been linked to ongoing destruction of forests and native prairies — habitat for wildlife like sloths, jaguars, giant anteaters and other species.
Unlike many of its competitors, Burger King has repeatedly turned down requests from civil society organizations to commit to only buying from suppliers who don’t engage in destruction of forests, or to provide information about where its commodities originate … Burger King scored a zero on the Union of Concerned Scientists’ 2016 scorecard of major beef sellers’ deforestation profiles, significantly lagging behind other major players like Wal-Mart, McDonald’s and Wendy’s.”
Soy Is Bad, But Roundup Is Even Worse
Glyphosate — the active ingredient in Monsanto’s wide-spectrum herbicide Roundup and other pesticides — is the most widely used agricultural chemical in the world. The first glyphosate-tolerant soybeans were introduced in the U.S. in 1994. By 2015, 83 percent of the soy grown worldwide was GE soy,22 and in the U.S. more than 90 percent of soybeans grown are GE.
Less than 1 percent are organic, with the remaining 9 percent being conventionally grown which, like GE varieties, involves the use of herbicides like Roundup.23 Glyphosate-contamination is in and of itself a major reason to avoid foods containing soy protein. And if Subway chicken really contains as much soy as the Canadian test suggests, it would be a significant reason to avoid it too. Remember that less than 1 percent of soy is organic and free of pesticides.
In March, 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a research arm of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the “gold standard” in carcinogenicity research, reclassified glyphosate as a “probable human carcinogen” (Class 2A).24Research scientist and consultant Anthony Samsel has also reported he uncovered evidence showing Monsanto knew glyphosate promotes cancer as far back as 1981.
Based on the IARC’s determination, the California agency of environmental hazards (OEHHA) has declared glyphosate a carcinogen under Proposition 65, and will require all glyphosate-containing products to carry a cancer warning. Monsanto attempted to overturn the OEHHA’s decision, but a Fresno County Superior Court Judge ruled against it.25,26,27
Help!…Where Do I Find ‘Real’ Wholesome Food?
We like to think that we can make healthy choices while eating out and save time in our hectic schedules. Afterall, who has time to cook anymore? Well, the reality is that the wool is being pulled over our eyes. It is next to impossible to eat healthy wholesome foods at fast food chains or even upper scale restaurants. There is simply too much out of your control- from MSG, preservatives, trans fats and gluten (these are just a few of the toxins we’re exposed to).
With all the drawbacks associated with conventional agriculture, factory farmed meats and processed fast food, your best bet is to forgo restaurants and choose fresh, locally produced foods. You can also grow some of your own. Remember to choose organic, grass-fed/pasture-raised beef, poultry and dairy, in addition to organic produce. If you live in the U.S., the following organizations can help you locate farm-fresh foods:
- American Grassfed Association
- Weston A. Price Foundation
- Grassfed Exchange
- Local Harvest.org
- Farmers Markets
- Eat Well Guide: Wholesome Food from Healthy Animals
- The Cornucopia Institute